The only thing we have to fear is…not what you think.

I just read a blog that damn near knocked my socks off. Which is a pretty good feat (feet?) since I was barefoot at the time.

The blog neatly lists reasons we don’t need to fear transgendered people, each as important as it is accurate. I’ll shorten the explanations here but I encourage you to read the full blog, with or without socks. You don’t even need to worry about whether the lights are on or off when you read it. I promise it’s not scary.

Culled from Chase Strangio’s blog, here is his list of why we don’t need to be afraid of those who are transgendered:

  1. The existence of trans people does not threaten the privacy of anyone else.

  2. Trans women and girls are women and girls. Full stop. They are not “biological males” or “men pretending to be women.” Same is true for trans men and boys.

  3. Extending legal protections to transgender people,including when it comes to using restrooms and locker rooms, does not threaten the safety of anyone else. (The bolded typeface is my addition – I wanted to be sure you saw it.)

  4. Policing of gender or genitals in restrooms is bad for everyone.

  5. Anti-trans laws are not about restrooms, locker rooms, safety, or privacy but about expelling trans people from public life.

Just think about that last one for a second. “Expelling trans people from public life.” That’s what would’ve left me sockless, had I been wearing said socks.

Who are we to expel anyone from anything? Did we learn nothing from the Holocaust? From the Civil Rights movements in the ’60s? We don’t get to control groups of people simply because they look, believe or act differently than us.

I’ve got two points to make here. In discussing this issue with people on both sides of HB2, the “Bathroom Law,” the biggest argument I hear in favor of it is from people worried about their children’s safety. They say they are concerned that child predators could use this as a means to sneak into a restroom, intent on harm. If that’s true, it’s not trans people we’re afraid of, it’s child predators. Totally different issue. Let’s penalize them instead of the trans community, shall we? That’s point one.

Point two is really hard for me to write because 1) I know I’m gonna really piss some people off and 2) I don’t often publicly call out anyone. But I am boldly coming out and saying I fear that – for a majority of people who support it – HB2 is a thin excuse to shun a part of society that isn’t understood. Trans people mean no harm. They’re trying to live the life they feel most comfortable in. The sad truth is, not everyone else can get comfortable with that. If so, it’s not the trans people we have a problem with: it’s us.

Whoa.

Who’s scary now?

The bottom line is this: Transgendered people are not asking for our approval. They’re not even asking for anything extraordinary. They’re simply asking not to be “expelled from public life” through discrimination. Which, the last time I checked, happens to be illegal.

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